Internet sites linking travelers to property owners with space to spare continue to grow in popularity. Whether you travel or not, you might be considering the possibility of signing up and offering for rent all or part of your main home. If so, establishing sound recordkeeping procedures from day one is a good idea.
In addition to a bookkeeping system to keep track of the income and expenses related to your rental, a calendar detailing the days your home was rented will be useful at tax time. The reason? Deductible expenses may be limited when rented property is also your personal residence. Having a written record helps determine which tax reporting rules apply.
For example, say you rent your primary home to a vacationer for 15 days or more during a year. All of the rental income is taxable. However, expenses such as interest, property taxes, utility costs, and depreciation are split between the time your property was rented for a fair rental price and the days you used it personally. The portion related to the rental is deductible up to the amount of your rental income.
What if you have rental expenses in excess of your rental income? You may be able to carry them forward to next year.
Different rules apply when your home is rented for less than 15 days, and when the property you offer for rent is your vacation home or timeshare. Please give us a call. We’ll help you plan a tax-efficient rental program.